April 27, 2016 at 8:00am

The third annual True Blue Scholarship Challenge

True Blue

Millikin's three-day fundraising blitz campaign seeks to raise $320,000 for annual student scholarships April 27-29. This is the third year for the annual spring challenge. Last year's challenge exceeded the $300,000 goal, with more than 600 donors providing their financial support. This year, an anonymous donor has stepped forward to offer a $160,000 matching challenge, essentially doubling each gift, small or large, up to $160,000. In addition, at least 16 smaller matching challenges made by alumni and other donors, ranging from $500 to $15,000, target specific graduation years or groups of alumni, parents, friends and students to encourage giving during the three days.

Out of the more than 2,200 full- and part-time students attending Millikin, 98 percent rely on some type of financial aid to attend the university, including scholarships. Annually, Millikin distributes nearly $36 million in merit and other scholarships to students, more than half of the university's annual operating budget. These scholarships are awarded to students based on academic merit, talent and financial need.

This academic year, due to the State of Illinois failing to fully fund the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) for student aid, MU trustees have committed to providing an additional $3.2 million out of the MU operating budget as necessary to cover what the state did not provide for these deserving students – instead of the university billing the students and their families for the unfunded aid. It's just one example of how Millikin is committed to finding ways to help families manage the cost of a college education, with student financial aid packages that include academic scholarships, loans, government assistance and student employment.

Senior Alex Koulos, a JMS accounting major, says this about his MU educational experience:

"I was astounded by what I learned through the Performance Learning model … something that is truly unique to Millikin. Millikin affords its students with opportunities that are directly linked to the generosity of our alumni and donors, which is something I will never forget."

Gifts to the True Blue Scholarship Challenge may be made online at millikin.edu/trueblue or sent to the Alumni and Development Center, Millikin University, 1184 West Main Street, Decatur, IL 62522. Or call 217.424.6383 to give.